Fear of taking Medications

Robert C. H.
By Robert C. H. Latest Reply 2008-10-07 11:26:26 -0500
Started 2008-09-28 05:55:45 -0500

I was recently scanning the differnt discussions,and I was surprised at How many remarks were made regarding taking Medications, But I also found so many people expressing such excitement about Herbs. and supplaments. And It got me to wondering, about the old argument that so much money goes into developing medications, and all the controls befor they are released on the market,I recently read an article stating that most medications are not used properly,and it gave differnt explanations why, 1] most medications have side effects2]Because of side effects they are not used properly, people stop using them to soon to benefit from them3]each person is differn't so Medications will resct differn'tly and that is why when they give you a medication you will get an explanation of what some people have experienced taking this medication, that does not mean all people will have the same reaction.But on the whole with all the medications prescribed today there is a much better control of many illnesses today than ever before. Then on the other side we have Herbs, and supplaments that ,some claim have been used for centuries to cure this and that,But where are the controls,except for an occasional warning that to much of this can cause this or that, Who is inspecting these products,so that we Know that they contain only what they claim to contain, Who is determining what the correct dosage is?I've even seen people mention that they have been trying to delvelope there own concoctions,to sell, but found it to costly to produce, If that is the onlything holding someone from putting something on the market, then I guess we should buy our milk from china,We would then have the same control,NONE

. , It sounds about the same control

30 replies

DonnaAnn 2008-10-06 22:08:55 -0500 Report

i do not take herbal supplements unless i have grown the herbs myself.
there is a lot of confusion about this. all a herb is actually is a spice! chives, peppers, onions, garlic, basil,etc. you can grow yourself and take it. dosage. well, did you know that you should take less of a dried herb than if it were fresh? the reason why herbs have gotten a bad wrap is because people are ignorant in how to administer them. Herbs are regulated in Germany. this country has been trying to regulate herbs in the same way. but, then, they would become prescribed medicines and the prices would go up. I have dealt with heerbs for many a year. And I am also on many a medications, only the ones I can afford. people think they can mix the two!!! Once again, ignorance takes presidence. its like running a piece of machinary, you need to know how to do it.

Frustrated mom
Frustrated mom 2008-10-01 06:49:02 -0500 Report

I think what maybe right for one may not be right for others…Meds can have a lot of side effects, and I am not sure about herbs,but I am sure they have some side effect also…One's choice…

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-09-30 12:51:30 -0500 Report

YES you are right It is a matter of choice,I prefer my MEDS, because they have proven to me that my quality of life is immensley improved by taking them, but the statement the jury is still out can be used about anything we put in our bodies, Is your drinkinking water safe? IS Margerine better for you than butter? It can go on and on, we have to decide what is good for us.

kdroberts 2008-09-29 02:52:26 -0500 Report

From my point of view, drugs and supplements are very different. Generally a med will have a much bigger chance of working and when it does it will work better than a supplements. However, it can also cause more problems than a supplement. A supplement may work, it may not. If it does work you will probably see a minor change but the risk of a major side effect is low.

Meds get pushed through approval way too fast and with not enough data right now so I wouldn't say they are well regulated. Januvia is a prime example. I take it but I would rather not and I keep on the lookout every day. It was approved with very little studies and got through a major loophole. They were able to show it didn't cause cancer directly however it's mechanism of action inhibits part of your immune system that helps protect against cancer as well as being used in many more sections of the body. This aspect of the drug was not tested nor was it required to be tested for FDA approval. Even though herbs are not FDA controlled (well, they kind of are) it's unlikely they will cause serious damage to your body which is very possible with a prescription medication.

For most people who take meds you have to weigh up the benefits and the risks. Unfortunately, the choice may be a loosing one whichever way it goes. Take januvia, have good numbers but possibly increase your risk of cancer. Don't take januvia, don't increase your chance of cancer but increase your chances of diabetic complications. Not a good choice either way.

caspersmama 2008-09-29 08:19:59 -0500 Report

Well my Doctor and I agree on this outlook. I want to have a quality of life that is comfortable to me. That means I will take my meds, my pain meds and my hormones. Because all of it improves( to me) my quality of life. If I did not I would be in the corner somewhere in pain or in a coma with hot flashes. That is not how I want to live.

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-09-29 12:21:06 -0500 Report

,I suggest you read a recent article by John Crowley Herbs & Supplements & Diabetes. It gives a lot of warnings.on a review of a very small example of whats on the Market to say that the side effects from Herbs and supplements will not cause serious damage needs to be looked into a little better.

caspersmama 2008-09-30 02:58:06 -0500 Report

I do not understand your post. Are you saying we should only take herbs and supplements whatever the risk or are you saying they need to be looked into more? I will still take my FDA approved meds for my quality of life.

kdroberts 2008-09-30 03:37:29 -0500 Report

I think it was a reply to me. I guess I said that there were no side effects to supplements which wasn't exactly what I meant. What I meant was that herbs and supplements have a lower % chance of side effects and of those side effects a lower % chance of them being serious. That's not to say that there are no side effects at all or that they won't be serious, more that medications have a higher high and a lower low.

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-09-30 06:05:26 -0500 Report

The reply was for kdroberts,I'm not sure I understand his higher highs, and lower lows. But I do know that I take 13 differn't Meds a dayand I know a couple of times when I was sick I didn't take them, I couldn't moveWithout them I have no life at all.With them I have somewhat of a life,but I know I'm alive and that is the important thing to me. Yes someday I hope to not be on so many,but my body, my Doctors, and my lord will let me know

kdroberts 2008-09-30 06:38:16 -0500 Report

What I mean is that (using a made up diabetes drug for an example) you take a drug. It may have a 80% chance of lower your fasting reading by 50 points. It also has a 1 in 10 chance of getting a side effect and a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting a serious one.

Then you compare that to a made up supplement that has a 20% chance of a 10 point reduction. However it has a 1 in 1000 chance of side effects and a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of a serious one.

With the med you have a higher chance of a more effective treatment (the high) but you also have a higher chance of getting a serious side effect (the low).

To use a hot button topic to compare. It's similar to the risk rating on your 401k. If you invest in safer options your return is usually lower but so is the amount you may loose. If you invest in high risk options your return is potentially much higher, but so is the amount you may loose.

I'm not saying meds are bad. In general life you use the tool that's the best for the job, it's only common sense to do the same with your body and health.

caspersmama 2008-09-30 08:25:11 -0500 Report

Maybe I am having a blonde moment(and I am not blonde, lol) but I still do not understand. I choose to take my FDA approved meds so I will have some kind of comfortable daily life and I choose not to take herbs and supplements because they have not been tested the same and can have serious side effects. Yes I know so do the drugs but there is always another drug to counteract that effect. It is a choice that I choose to make but saying they are bad is not an option I choose to believe because without them I would not be here or be in a very bad state of life.

kdroberts 2008-09-30 08:41:06 -0500 Report

My feeling on supplements is that most have actually been tested far more than the newer drugs that are coming on the market. You just can't patent a herb and therefore there is no money it for the big companies so they don't take it to the FDA. They also have a far smaller chance of working than a prescription med. I don't like taking drugs but I do because I have to. I really don't like taking the newer drugs because they really haven't been tested very well and have questionable safety profiles, but I do because I have to. Januvia is a prime example of that. It may be that in a few years there will be tens of thousands of people with januvia caused cancer because the FDA didn't require the testing that should have been done before it was approved. I take it still knowing that because for right now the positives just outweigh the negatives. That may not be the case forever though.

caspersmama 2008-09-30 08:49:17 -0500 Report

I take all kinds of drugs that may cause cancer or liver problems but some of the foods we eat and drink may also. and I am not going to give up eating. I could get hit by a bus tomoorow and die so all the drugs I take or do not take is not going to prevent that. You just have one opinion and I have another. Whatever you can live with you do. It is as simple as that.

GabbyPA 2008-09-30 09:04:34 -0500 Report

The whole idea of this post was just to point out that there are differences and we all need to decide for ourselves if we are willing to chance the side effects for a quality of life.

No one is saying one it better than the other, that is for each of us to decide. There is just a lesser chance of serious side effects with herbs. But you still have to be careful. I found when I combined ecanasia with zinc, it gave me symptoms like food poisioning...very bad.

Anytime we have to alter our body to make it balanced we risk side effects. Perscription drugs often have life threatening ones...it is up to you to choose if the benefits outweigh the risks. Thats all....nothing to get defensive about, just pointing out that we have to make that choice for ourselves.

When you decide to use perscription drugs at the request of your doctor, just make sure you know all the risks.

I do agree with KDroberts, that herbs are not a money making thing for the pharmesutical companies, so they don't get regulated by the FDA. That doesn't mean they are totally uncontrolled. There are several FDA type of organizations that evaluate the purity and content of herbs and if you purchase products that are given those approvals, the you can be confident you are getting what you want. And again, it is up to you to research herbs, just as you would a perscription drug.

Which ever you choose to use, don't just trust it blindly because so-and-so said it is good. Know your facts.

caspersmama 2008-09-30 09:32:12 -0500 Report

Well I quess you told me. I trust my Doctor and the meds he prescribes that will be all I have to say on this forum.

kdroberts 2008-09-30 11:22:08 -0500 Report

"The whole idea of this post was just to point out that there are differences and we all need to decide for ourselves if we are willing to chance the side effects
for a quality of life."

That was the point I was (I guess badly) trying to make too. Also that just because something is FDA approved doesn't mean it's safe and studied well and just because something isn't FDA approved doesn't mean it's not safe and not studied.

I've taken my fair share of prescription meds in the past, some have worked well with no side effects (metformin, cozaar, zetia), some have worked well with intolerable side effects (simvastatin, altace), some have worked OK with a few side effects (starlix, glyburide) and some haven't worked at all (Avandia, Actos). And one (Januvia), the jury is still out on. I also tried varius herbs and supplements (cinnamon, chromium and a few others I can't recall) that had no effect, good or bad, whatsoever.

Lanore 2008-09-29 02:03:41 -0500 Report

I understand that herbs are a good things, but like you I take alot of meds, if I don't take these med I will if fact die. I would love to be able to take herbs for my problems, but I do not trust them eough either. So I look at it this way…no med…no me. Lanore :-)

GabbyPA 2008-09-29 02:01:04 -0500 Report

I am a self confessed herb supplement perosn. I don't have a choice, I am not on meds, can't get them right now, so I am exploring every venue I can. I have always tended toward wholistic medicines, so I am comfortable with what I do.

I agree there is a lot on unregulated stuff out there and you do have to be cautious. Research is important before trying anything, and if you just take it because aunt susie does, then that is not very responsible. However, the FDA is owned by many deep pockets...so I am not trusting them too much either.

There is also a lot of snake oil out there, and that is usually in the concoxiotns you find that are the NEW SUPERFOOD or something. I am not a user of those either.

Medicines are usually taking a single component of a natural substance and maginfying it to increase the potency. Unfortuantely, there are reactions, because they tend to eliminate the balance of the benefits of the original state of the herb in the frist place. That is why the side effects are often so huge. And let me tell you, side effect cautions should not be taken lightly. My mom suffers from one, even a year later, and my husband had a very bad reaction to a cholesterol med and an antibiotic. So they are to be used according to direction, and if you don't feel right, stop taking them, it could save your life.

I had a discussion with my primary once after my husband's episode with the cholesterol med. He said taking medicine was basically poisioning your body. I was shocked he said that. He is not wholistic really, and so that sticks with me even today.

I am not afraid to take meds, I just would rather not if I don't have to. I will work with my body to make it better as long as I can without that aid. When I finally do get in to see my doctor to diagnose my diabetes officially, I know I will most likely be put on meds. But you want to bet that I will be working just as hard to get myself off them as soon as I can.

caspersmama 2008-09-28 06:24:26 -0500 Report

Well my reply is that if I did not have my meds( and I take alot) I would be dead. So meds are my choice. I do not trust herbs and supplements enough to try them. Because they are not regulated.

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-09-29 01:53:46 -0500 Report

Thanks, that is exactly what I was trying to say. Give me my Meds anyday.

Becca66 2008-09-29 16:35:38 -0500 Report

i agree with you, give me my meds. without them my sugar would stay over 200. people think that some meds will cause heart damage, well hello, uncontrolled diabetes will cause heart, eye, kidney, pancreas problems. need i say anymore?

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-10-01 07:34:38 -0500 Report

I can only take medication. With my transplant they do not want me to experience any thing on my own without telling them. Well, could you even begin to imagine how may times a week I call the transplant clinic. I think the actually waitto hear what I wantt to try next. I course their answer is always NO!!! I can eaven drink green tea. So I asked Toma and and told me its not good for transplants either. He also told me how to look things up under google for kidney transplant…and whatever I want to know. He taught me alot. Not so many calls to the clinic no more. They even called me one week to see if I was O.k. They haven"t heard from me for a few days.(LOL)…

GabbyPA 2008-10-01 09:31:39 -0500 Report

In cases like that you have to adhere to what they are telling you to do. One unknown element could really mess up your readiness for your transplant when it becomes available. How long have you been waiting? Sounds so stressful.

GabbyPA 2008-10-01 09:52:45 -0500 Report

Oh, I see. That is great!! I thought you were still on the wait list. My misunderstanding. How is it going other than being off dialasyis? Do you feel good/better since you had it done?

mara - 24024
mara - 24024 2008-10-06 16:54:33 -0500 Report

my son was 3 time transplant patient! the very drugs that kept him from rejecting his new organs eventually killed him with cancer. he also became a dibetic, high blood pressure, gout, so many problems and watching him suffer was so difficult. if you read the inserts on your prescription drugs for rejection it will tell you that you may develope lumphomia and tumors but the md always say stick with legal!

GabbyPA 2008-10-06 20:46:31 -0500 Report

Being a recipiant, do you say it is worth that suffering then? It just seems so much heartache, specially with what happened with your son. I realize he may be an exception...but wow. Being a parent, that would kill me to watch happen.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-10-07 06:41:38 -0500 Report

I was informed all this. I must have a yearly skin check-up. My medicine is a chemotherapy drug. I not allowed green tea and herbs and anything dieting. This is very scarey for me. I just had a friend 46 yrs old die from cancer, which they said she probably got it from her transplant drugs. She had her transplant 18 yrs ago. I am scared to try anything with out permission. I also have to eat frozen or can fruit and vegetables over fresh. It is so hard. I can't have caffeine etc…When I went on dialysis. boy, I was limited to everything and I thought that was hard. Wow This is a new way of life and I hate everyday of this but I have lived almost 2 years more. That is why I go in depression alot, I worry daily and can't get this worry out of my mind…

GabbyPA 2008-10-07 11:26:26 -0500 Report

You are an incredibly strong woman to deal with so much. I am not so sure I could be so brave. I suppose you look at each additional day as a gift this way. We all should do that, but in your mind it is very vivid. I admire your spirit, and am amazed at your heart thru it all.

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